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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking through the various craftsmen's work on the site and I see what appears to be a myriad of different finishes. I was wondering what type of finish most use. I myself use a boiled linseed oil/mineral spirit mix if I like the color of the wood and don't want too much tint. Cherry and Red Oak seem to pop with just the boiled linseed oil and a semi gloss or satin polyurethane. Maple and pine IMO seem to look better with some Minwax stains then the polyurethane. Some of you talk about Tung oil, I have never used it, is it similar to BLO? Do you urethane over it? Mark
 

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I also am working thru finishing sticks. Here's what I have worked thru.

When I started, I just used paste wax as I had for sculpture, but that was not durable enough, and would rub off on hands and gloves, not good. So I tried what I had used for furniture, and cabinetry. Coat(s) of stain, neutral or colored as desired. Light sanding, and then varnish coats, also sanded if needed. I used spar varnish for its durability and UV blocking qualities. I like the look of that, but found that after some use, the varnish around the grip area would become clouded, I suppose from friction and the acids in skin oils.

Reading around here, I picked up some tung oil. I know that many coats of linseed oil, perhaps mixed w. some bees wax also works. But tung oil is used on ship decks, and appears to have really good water resistance. It does dry slowly. I use three coats. I haven't tried using it over stained wood, but have used it over dyed wood, and it is OK. It gives a low-gloss finish.

I've put shellac over the tung, tinted or plain, to add gloss. Looks nice, but shellac is seems too fragile to me.

I've tried to top off with carnauba wax a few times. Extremely durable, gives a gloss finish, but is quite hard to use. Really really tedious when hand buffed. I found that a few seconds under a heat gun on low liquifies it enough that it can be hand rubbed. I will also try a cotton buffing wheel, which may generate enough friction heat to soften the carnauba.
 

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For shanks i just use danish oil and like gdenby give it about three coats and polish it .Its good for the wood and offers protection.I suppose any oil finish is good but often use boiled linaseed oil myself
 

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Update the pictures better look at the whole stick.
 

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I most frequently use 100% pure tung oil, but it is expensive. My guess is that it is very similar to boiled linseed oil so far as appearance and utility. I apply as many coats as will adsorb, waiting a good while between applications. I've noticed that heartwood and sapwood often adsorb different amounts. If I apply one too many coats, it will leave a waxy coating. I remove that with 000 or 0000 steel wool.

My sticks are for family and a few old Marines. They are used for hikes in the mountains or woods, and are prone to be scratched up. The oiled finish facilitates easy touch up. I provide a tiny jar of tung oil to my stick recipients. A little goes a long way for touch up purposes. I too like the natural luster and color of most woods when tung oil is applied.
 

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It depends on the stick! A lot of the sticks I do on the lathe I mix a little stain with past wax and apply it right on the lathe while it's turning -- makes a nice finish and is dry quick!
 

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Think applying the finish on a lathe gives one of the best finishes with the speed causeing a bit of friction must come up well

Teak oil dosnt that have some colour in it ?

It depends on the stick! A lot of the sticks I do on the lathe I mix a little stain with past wax and apply it right on the lathe while it's turning -- makes a nice finish and is dry quick!
 

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Think applying the finish on a lathe gives one of the best finishes with the speed causeing a bit of friction must come up well

Teak oil dosnt that have some colour in it ?

It depends on the stick! A lot of the sticks I do on the lathe I mix a little stain with past wax and apply it right on the lathe while it's turning -- makes a nice finish and is dry quick!
I've just been considering using teak oil, but from the images I've seen of finished surfaces, it doesn't appear to add any more yellowish color than tung. Having read that teak is good for denser woods, I'm looking for some to finish the hornbeam stick I've been working on for a long time. The hardest portions of the wood barely accept stain. I'm on my third refinish, and have decided that I will have to accept what I have managed to do. If/when I do another piece of hornbeam, I think the only coloration I will put on it is from wood burning.
 

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Think applying the finish on a lathe gives one of the best finishes with the speed causeing a bit of friction must come up well

Teak oil dosnt that have some colour in it ?

It depends on the stick! A lot of the sticks I do on the lathe I mix a little stain with past wax and apply it right on the lathe while it's turning -- makes a nice finish and is dry quick!
I've just been considering using teak oil, but from the images I've seen of finished surfaces, it doesn't appear to add any more yellowish color than tung. Having read that teak is good for denser woods, I'm looking for some to finish the hornbeam stick I've been working on for a long time. The hardest portions of the wood barely accept stain. I'm on my third refinish, and have decided that I will have to accept what I have managed to do. If/when I do another piece of hornbeam, I think the only coloration I will put on it is from wood burning.
There is something to be said for El Natural! Sometimes just a clear or satin finish on wood is the best!
 

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think your right just a natural finish with a coat of oil for protection always looks good.

most oils just seem to lift the colour depending on the wood.
 

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How about a wrapping on the grip area of the shaft? Before I started to carve I used to wrap some of the grips with suede leather or jute, I have also seen some with a paracord wrapped handgrip. Although I think a carving or a topper on a walking/hiking stick would be overdone with a wrapping, some might like it and a plain stick with a wrapping IMHO looks pretty sharp. Anyone here do wrappings?

Attached are pics of 2 of my very first sticks. One on left is wrapped with jute one on right wrapped with suede. Suede one is promised to my sister to match one I gave to my niece at Christmas.

Both sticks are stained maple and finished with satin polyurethane.
 

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MJC4: I've never wraped a stick, but some of them do look nice that way -- but I like the carvings and toppers better -- like all things it's just a matter of personal preference.
 

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They look the part but what happens if they get wet? are they slippery? would it let the wood breath? you must tell us how you get on with them when wet?

i have never wrapped one but always interested in ideas
 

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It as been a number of years sense I rapped a grip on one of my sticks. But the look good and people seem to lick them. It has been mostly a time issue. I can texture the grip faster. When I did rap the grips I used marine cord. I rapped the grip using what is called a "French spiral hitching". You see it on the rails or helms of older boots. It gives more texture to the grip. I added a "Turks Head" to the top and bottom of the rapping. Made a nice looking grip and it last very well.
 

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It as been a number of years sense I rapped a grip on one of my sticks. But the look good and people seem to lick them. It has been mostly a time issue. I can texture the grip faster. When I did rap the grips I used marine cord. I rapped the grip using what is called a "French spiral hitching". You see it on the rails or helms of older boots. It gives more texture to the grip. I added a "Turks Head" to the top and bottom of the rapping. Made a nice looking grip and it last very well.
Is this it? I will try it!

Check out this video on YouTube:


It looks great!
 

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It as been a number of years sense I rapped a grip on one of my sticks. But the look good and people seem to lick them. It has been mostly a time issue. I can texture the grip faster. When I did rap the grips I used marine cord. I rapped the grip using what is called a "French spiral hitching". You see it on the rails or helms of older boots. It gives more texture to the grip. I added a "Turks Head" to the top and bottom of the rapping. Made a nice looking grip and it last very well.
Is this it? I will try it!
Check out this video on YouTube:
It looks great!
Hi CAS,
Yes that is the french spiral hitching. I would recommend a glove. You need to pull each hitch tight. It can ware on the hand after a bit. You may find it handy to have 6" peace of dowel 1/2 inch or so to push the raps tight to each other . Any small peace of wood will do. As long as your hitch is tight it will stay in place as you do the next. Hope that is of so help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good suggestion CV3 and excellent vid CAS. :thumbsu:

I like the look of that French spiral hitching and will try that next time I wrap one. I like a wrap on the handhold of a smaller diameter (1"-1.25") stick. To me it gives the grip area a little more "beef" in your hand

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The two I have wrapped in the pics are done with a nail knot. The jute wrap is sealed with polyurethane so dampness I don't think will be a problem. The suede leather, well that's a different story. The stick is finished with polyurethane so I don't think moisture is a problem there, but if the leather gets wet I suppose it might shrink and pop loose? Don't know, but as I am giving it to my sister I can't see her hiking in the rain and if she does though, it'll probably ruin the dyed feather I attached to the wrist strap before the grip wrap comes off. Besides if she ruins the stick no more hand crafted gifts from big brother! :)
 

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I've been trying to figure out how to finish my first walking staff. I wasn't sure if I should just use spar urethane or if I should just use Tung oil or if I could oil and then urethane? Yikes! I love the staff and I'm afraid to take the next step. I don't want to ruin it :(

Any suggestions? After reading everyones comments I was thinking first Tung oil (a few coats) then the spar urethane and then maybe wrapping the grip with suede so the it doesn't get foggy?

Feed back will be helpful and appreciated.
 

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hi

This is puely a matter of choice and you may get several different answers

I never varnish the shank, this is because varnish chips easily it looks unsightly when it happens and allows water penertration and can turn black around the chipped area if left wet.

i usually give my shanks several coats of danish iol and then oil it occasionaly when needed it works for me.However i never remove the bark of a shank as i use mostly hazel and sweet chestnut.

but any finish oil should do the trick.

The shank i use regularly looks as good as the day i made it,works for me ,.what is the shank made from?
 
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